Rumor: Windows 8.1 to ship August 1st?

We know that Microsoft will launch a preview version of Windows 8.1 on June 26th, the first day of its BUILD 2013 developer conference. But what about the release of the final version? Tech journalist Paul Thurrott, who concentrates most of his coverage on Microsoft, claims that he may have heard the answer to that question from an inside source.

In a post on his Twitter account on Friday, Thurrott states:

In case that was not clear to some of our European readers, "8/1" refers to August 1st in the US. not January 8th. When a Twitter follower claimed that he had heard a Windows 8.1 ship date of October 14th "from a major tech company", Thurrott replied, "I was told this from someone a little closer to the matter." Thurrott tends to be fairly accurate in his rumor stories so we should soon see if the August 1st day is in fact correct.

Thurrott also commented in that same Twitter exchange about the launch date for Windows Phone 8.1, stating, "Windows Phone 8.1 "Blue" will ship late this year or early in 2014."

Source: Paul Thurrott on Twitter

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42 Comments

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This is great if it's true. Windows 8.1 is looking more and more like a serious upgrade similar in scope to Service Pack 2 for Windows XP.

Sorry 1 question. For upgrade windows 8.1 pro, HAVE to install windows 7 After Windows 8 pro AND AFTER Windows 8.1? Because this is ridiculous. And because i don't wanna upgrade windows 8.1 with all stuff (programs) i have.
The upgrade solution is AWFUL MICROSOFT. Give us the option LOW price with FULL version Windows 8.1.

If you have Win7, you upgrade to 8 and 8.1 comes as an update through the Store.
If you install 8.1 Preview on top of Win 8 and want to upgrade from the preview to the final version, you'll lose all your apps and will have to reinstall them.
If you wait and upgrade from Win 8 to 8.1 RTM, you won't lose anything.
Plus it's already been confirmed that it'll be free.

Hello,

That is probably just the date it becomes available to OEMs to start duplicating for preload onto computers for sale in the October/November timeframe. That would allow Microsoft's OEM partners time to test and tweak the Windows 8.1 systems for the the big "back to school" and Black Friday retail sales pushes later in the year.

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky

Wow.. must be a slow news day..

As usual for MSFT they will release WIN8.1 at the start of Q4 and I would expect it to coincide with WP8.1 this time.

I would guess somewhere in October to be much more likely.

paulheu said,
Wow.. must be a slow news day..

As usual for MSFT they will release WIN8.1 at the start of Q4 and I would expect it to coincide with WP8.1 this time.

I would guess somewhere in October to be much more likely.

They've been saying for some time, though still rumors, that WP8.1 won't be release at the same time as Win8.1 and that it could be in early 2014 instead. That is if Win8.1 is indeed late this year, like October. But on the other hand, this is a free update and the first on the new yearly release cycle so maybe the past dates don't count anymore? I think it'd be smarter for them to try and get it out by August so OEMs can get in with new devices for back to school for once.

Hopefully they will also provide an option to download an integrated 8.1 image for clean installs.

I don't think there necessarily needs to be as big a lag this time between RTM and releasing it to users. There isn't likely to be as much need for driver updates etc from vendors.

It seems to me they could well release it as an update for existing users pretty quickly and then OEMs and retail copies will catch up a few weeks later.

so it gets 2014 before i jump the windows phone bandwagon once more. doh i hoped it to be earlier.

I believe August 1 is the day when windows 8.1 will be shipped to RTM. But the true release date is unlikely before late October sometime.

Is there going to be an OEM version of just Windows 8.1? Or is the protocol where you have to install Windows 8 first...then apply 8.1?

If it does indeed ship on August 1, it would put it exactly one year after the official Win8 RTM (although the final build was compiled on July 25th).
I think I'm going to install the preview on a VHD since going from it to RTM would mean having to reinstall all my apps.

Well this Preview is definitely going in a Virtual Machine. If RTM is 1 month away no point in installing on a machine and definitely not a production install.

While, I'd love for it to be 8/1, that would only give ~30 days for the preview, which would be really short for MS. I'm more inclined to go with a date I was told of 10/18, which would be roughly 3 1/2 months and more in line with typical MS release patterns. I may be wrong, and personally I hope he's right since MS has publicly indicated that they are speeding up the development cycles of all of their products and this update would help significantly the release of new HW/SW that OEMs want to push.

1Pixel said,
It will be replacing Win 8 for sale. So there must be ISO's to download and do a clean install.

Maybe it will be close to if not the same process as with Windows 8's online purchase install system. So in that words you click to start the process and it does it's system scan, then you get the option to upgrade now or download the ISO for later, also gives you a new key? Or maybe the current Win8 key you have in your original install will work as well?

devHead said,
I'm sure on MSDN and TechNet it will be ISOs for downloading and installing, and likely with new keys.

Maybe not, they cut down Win8x keys to 3 max for MSDN/TN. Issuing new keys would allow up it to 6, unless existing 8x keys can't be upgraded.

A few times he's said August as a possible RTM for 8.1. I think if it's true then all the better really, at least this time OEMs can get out new 8.1 devices in time for back to school and not just the holidays late in the year.

Choto Cheeta said,
Those who has Windows 8, will they get it for free or have purchase as a fresh OS ??

It's a free upgrade to Windows 8 users. Everyone else will have to buy a full copy.

Choto Cheeta said,
In case of fresh install of 8.1, will the same 8 product key would work ??

That's a good question, I don't know? I'm going to take a guess and say yes though? We'll see how it goes with the preview later this month, that should be a indication.

Studio384 said,
That would be awesome!

It would be, but it seems rather close to Build... If this is the case, the version made available at Build would have to be pretty close to RTM...

texasghost said,
From what I understand...the free upgrade will be available via Windows Store and Windows Update.

I guess if Windows 8.1 is treated as OS rather than update then Windows 8 would be the 1st in history to get phased out without a Service Pack release